A TEAM of 42 Australian optometrists provided free eye surgery and checkups to Cambodian patients as part of a three-day programme in Kampong Thom province.
Kak Kakada, director of the optometry unit at Kampong Thom hospital, said volunteer doctors in the Cambodian Vision programme plan to have performed 220 operations by the time the programme concludes on Wednesday. He said "thousands" had travelled to the provincial hospital where the programme was based, but that many of them simply received checkups. Those who underwent operations were given food and US$5 to pay for a taxi to get them home.
Hong Neam, 65, who received free cataract surgery, said he had suffered from cataracts for three years because his family was too poor to afford treatment.
"I am very happy. I hope I will have good eyesight," he said, adding that he wanted the doctors to delay their departure so they could treat more people in Cambodia.